Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

Water body depth with more foam sheets?

905 views
17 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    February, 2008
  • 966 posts
Water body depth with more foam sheets?
Posted by kasskaboose on Thursday, October 04, 2018 1:16 PM

To create a deep water body, is it a waste to put foam pieces below the foam sub-roadbed before carving it out?  I know many have had success showing depth by painting carved foam different colors after putting down PoP, mold, etc..  I plan to use this method.  Howeover, what about also putting foam sheets below the existing sub-roadboad?  I'm not aiming for a Mariana Trench!

  • Member since
    December, 2004
  • From: Bedford, MA, USA
  • 18,052 posts
Posted by MisterBeasley on Thursday, October 04, 2018 2:31 PM

Most of us model water with a shallow depression, painted to get the illusion of depth and then coated with something like Envirotex.  Real physical modeling is better for exposed canyons.

It takes an iron man to play with a toy iron horse. 

  • Member since
    January, 2004
  • From: Canada, eh?
  • 8,632 posts
Posted by doctorwayne on Thursday, October 04, 2018 4:00 PM

I agree with Mister B:  all you need to do is make the water look deep.  Making it actually deep is a waste of both time and money. 
Much of what we do is tromp l'oeil.

EDIT:  I've changed the previously incorrect version of that three-word French expession, above.

Thanks to my friend Guy for pointing out my error.

Wayne

  • Member since
    February, 2002
  • From: Mpls/St.Paul
  • 10,782 posts
Posted by wjstix on Thursday, October 04, 2018 4:17 PM

If you're looking at a lake or pond, unless the water is unusually clear, you're normally only going to be able to see the bottom in places where the water is maybe 3-4 feet deep...maybe 6 feet at best. In HO scale, that's less than an inch deep.

Stix
  • Member since
    December, 2004
  • From: Bedford, MA, USA
  • 18,052 posts
Posted by MisterBeasley on Thursday, October 04, 2018 5:05 PM

It helps to pour Envirotex in several thin layers, with a bit of tinting (a drop of craft paint) for each layer, darker at the bottom and lighter at the top.  This obscures the deeper parts while still leaving the bottom visible in the shallows.

 

It takes an iron man to play with a toy iron horse. 

  • Member since
    July, 2006
  • From: Central Vermont
  • 4,059 posts
Posted by cowman on Thursday, October 04, 2018 7:25 PM

Three or four pours of less than 1/8" deep each is often plenty with a properly painted base.

Good luck,

Richard

  • Member since
    July, 2006
  • From: Central Vermont
  • 4,059 posts
Posted by cowman on Thursday, October 04, 2018 7:26 PM

Three or four pours of less than 1/8" deep each is often plenty with a properly painted base.  Be sure to let them cure properly between pours.

Good luck,

Richard

EDIT:  Not sure how I did the couble post, only typed the first part once.  The miricales (confusion) of computers.

  • Member since
    March, 2017
  • 1,215 posts
Posted by Track fiddler on Thursday, October 04, 2018 7:43 PM

Don't sweat the small stuff Richard, it happensSad

  • Member since
    March, 2017
  • 1,215 posts
Posted by Track fiddler on Thursday, October 04, 2018 7:51 PM

I would have to say doctorwayne did the best water effects I have ever seen. He didn't even use Clear rosins. He used Dura-Bond 90 and schmoozed it. Then painted it with depth colors and put a gloss coat on top. 

Well nevermind.  Wayne if you got your ears on, post that beautiful picture and tell us what you did. I always enjoy that image. It gets my appetite up for some serious model railroadingDinner

PS   The man was kind enough to send me the colors he used. I still have them in my MR files. Don't think for a minute I won't practice two or three times before I actually put it on my layout when I get to the point of modeling water.

I have been working with Dura-Bond 90 here and there through the years in construction my whole life but that is not the same.  If I can get my stuff to look half as good as Waynes, I will be happyBig Smile

  • Member since
    February, 2008
  • 966 posts
Posted by kasskaboose on Thursday, October 04, 2018 9:41 PM

Thanks everyone for the helpful suggestions.  Your advice is quite sound.  Making realistic water bodies is not difficult with proper preparation. 

 

  • Member since
    June, 2007
  • From: Northern Virginia
  • 6,120 posts
Posted by riogrande5761 on Friday, October 05, 2018 12:18 PM

doctorwayne

I agree with Mister B:  all you need to do is make the water look deep.  Making it actually deep is a waste of both time and money. 
Much of what we do is tromp de l'oeil.

Wayne

I don't understand French or the above foreign language, but I agree with everything else.  No physical depth is needed.  Just paint a bottom for the body of water that looks deep.  Basically darker is deeper, lighter is shallower; use color shades consistant with the body of water.

Here is my river bottom based on water color techniques I learned from Rob Spangler:

I mixed combinations of 3 different acrylic colors (black, medium cadmium yellow and tan) in different combinations and blended to get the river bottom.  The inner bank is shallow, middle and toward the outer bank (where scowering occurs and is deeper, darker shades).

After you put a material simulating water over the top, it blends even more:

Rio Grande.  The Action Road

Silly Aspie's, I have NT syndrome

  • Member since
    January, 2004
  • From: Canada, eh?
  • 8,632 posts
Posted by doctorwayne on Friday, October 05, 2018 12:26 PM

Great-looking water, Rio!

I wasn't trying to be elitist with the French, but it's a fairly well-known expression which translates as "fool the eye" - you may not have known that, but you certainly do a good job of executing it.

Wayne

  • Member since
    June, 2007
  • From: Northern Virginia
  • 6,120 posts
Posted by riogrande5761 on Friday, October 05, 2018 12:30 PM

Thanks.  Rob teaches well, but I think I'll go a little less thick on the gloss Mod Podge next time to see if it eliminates some of those fine bubbles that gave a cloudy effect in some of the thicker waves.

I took German so I only know a few idiom in that language like flimmer kiste and lebens mude which apply to other contexts.  French is a little more posh sounding!

The "water layer" over the river bottom definitely helps fool the eye.

Rio Grande.  The Action Road

Silly Aspie's, I have NT syndrome

  • Member since
    January, 2004
  • From: Canada, eh?
  • 8,632 posts
Posted by doctorwayne on Saturday, October 06, 2018 1:55 AM

Thanks again for your very kind words, Fiddler.

Sorry about the delay in posting, but photobucket was down for a couple of days.

Here's the Maitland River(bed) before the water....3/8" sheathing plywood over open grid framework...

...and after a thin application of Durabond 90 patching plaster, some flat latex housepaint, and three coats of water-based high gloss urethane.....

Chippawa Creek had a similar beginning...

....but with a little more white paint for its shallower areas...

I have one more major river to do, but the area around it needs to be pretty-well covered in trees and undergrowth...

Wayne

  • Member since
    July, 2006
  • From: Southern Quebec, Canada
  • 841 posts
Posted by Guy Papillon on Saturday, October 06, 2018 6:24 AM

doctorwayne

Much of what we do is tromp de l'oeil.

Wayne

The exact expression is "trompe l’oeil". And you are certainly a master at art of doing it. 

 

Edit : Reading back my post, I realized I made a mistake myself. EmbarrassedEmbarrassed I should have put a "-" between the two words. So the right spelling is Trompe-l’oeil. EmbarrassedEmbarrassed

Guy

Modeling CNR in the 50's

  • Member since
    January, 2004
  • From: Canada, eh?
  • 8,632 posts
Posted by doctorwayne on Saturday, October 06, 2018 2:08 PM

You're right, Guy:  I had looked it up to verify the spelling of "oeil", but the answer included the entire (but wrong) phrase.  I'll correct my original post to avoid misguiding others.  Thanks for pointing it out.

Wayne

 

 

 

 

 

  • Member since
    February, 2009
  • 1,081 posts
Posted by railandsail on Saturday, October 06, 2018 3:07 PM

GREAT water, Jim and Wayne

  • Member since
    November, 2016
  • 360 posts
Posted by j. c. on Saturday, October 06, 2018 4:15 PM

there are sometimes that adding a bottom to water areas would be appropate, like if you are modeling late summer or fall rivers are not running bank to bank  they might be up to 5 or more feet below early summer levels . the only way to get that look would be a addition of more foam, on last layout i had a  body of water that had about 10 foot of bank . my present layout will have only small streams or dry washes  , but as others said just to get apperance of water depth its not nessary.

Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

Search the Community

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
Model Railroader Newsletter See all
Sign up for our FREE e-newsletter and get model railroad news in your inbox!